Simple Living

Our story begins 9 months ago, when our 4th child joined us. At the time we had four children aged five and under. I was struggling with recovering from Ava’s traumatic birth, and Mr T had a spinal operation to relieve a slipped disc a few weeks later. We expected those few months to be hard, and they were. We expected things to get easier, but they didn’t.

We both desperately wanted a fourth (and last!) child, and we found caring for three young children relatively easy, we still had good and bad days, but on the whole things were good. Ava’s arrival combined, with having two children at school upset the balance, I felt constantly stretched and exhausted.

Simplifying things

I stopped waiting for things to get easier, and started to make a difference myself.

I started to simplify things down, I looked at the things that take up my time and I asked; Does this make me happy? Does it add value to my life? I read a few articles on simple living and I instantly thought we should give it a try.

What is Simple Living?

Simple living is living an intentional life, moving away from the fast-paced culture we live in, to spend more time doing the things we value. It involves simplifying things, like commitments, workload, possessions and stress. It sometimes refers to increased self-sufficiency. It involves spending less money and being satisfied with what you have, rather than wanting more.

I want to spend time; my list

I want to spend time with friends and family
I want to be a good mother.
I want to be a good wife to Mr T.
I want to be a good friend
I want to spend time walking and enjoying nature.
I want to read.
I want to help others.
I want financial freedom so that I don’t have to worry about money.
I want to visit beautiful cities, and show our children the world.
I want a comfortable home with a bright kitchen.
I want to cook healthy meals for my family.

Part 1 – Possession’s

We started to simplify our possessions, inspired by this quote;

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

For each item, we asked ourselves, is it beautiful or practical? Does it add value to our lives?

When we began, we soon realized that we were surrounded with things we had acquired over the years, that weren’t beautiful or practical but had sentimental value.

I am a sentimental person, some things like the children’s drawings I wanted to keep, or at least photograph to preserve the memory. Other things, like the unused Apron that was a  Christmas gift three years ago, we decided to sell or give to charity.

It’s not something that has happened over night, we still have a lot of possessions. Some we have given to charity, which feels good. Some we have sold and put the money towards our holiday to Cornwall in August. And some we couldn’t part with completely (The expensive knifes we bought but never use, and a rolling pin that is also a flour shaker amongst other things). Those things we have boxed up and put in our attic with a date on the box, if we don’t remember them in 6 months to a year, then we don’t really need them!

Having less stuff means that I spend less time tidying it, organising it, cleaning it and more time doing the things that we enjoy.

The hoarders reaction.

When we first bought our house and decided to have children, we had debt problems. We could barely afford food and had more money outgoing than incoming. When money is an issue I think you naturally move towards hording, and want to save certain things ‘just in case’ because you realize that you cant afford to buy them again if you need them.

On the other hand, we did also  sell things we knew we definitely didn’t need to pay our debt.

Its important to find a balance between our needs. Mr T does like to ‘hoard’ some things, (like the double cupboard & attic full of computer parts and cables, just in case) and he doesn’t like change. But he loves things being neat and organised, he is happy to remove all the things we dont use and he can see all the benefits. I don’t mind his hording ways when he can produce a cable of any variety when we need it!

Positives so far.

The great thing about having less stuff, is that you have more money for the possessions you do need & truly love.
Simplifying things really and truly shows whats important in your life, and helps define you as a person.
I spend less time tidying, organizing & cleaning and more time doing the things that we enjoy.

This is Part 1, of a six part series covering Possessions / Work-Life Balance / Commitments / Self Sufficiency / Contentment / Frugality

I am linking up with;

Running in Lavender

Because of my recent blog name change from Little Owls House to The Simple Things, I have had to recreate a new facebook page, I would love it if you popped over and said Hi!

2016-02-21T00:06:37+00:00

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  1. Heledd - Running in Lavender February 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful idea!! I love the thought of simplifying our lives and concentrating on the things that really matter and makes us happy. I used to be so sentimental about our ‘things’ but have gotten better of the past few years – a comfortable, tidy house is just more important to me. Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars xx

  2. Tania @ Larger Family Life March 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    This was such an interesting post for me to read and I agree with you completely. I wrote something a while back titled ‘Why I Want My Kids to Have Less in Life” (not linking to it but you can search for it over on our site if you’d like to), which I think you’d find interesting.

  3. Jess @ Picnics in the Rain March 24, 2016 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this Hannah, I’m going to look forward to reading further posts from you 🙂 We are on a journey to live more simply and I find sentimental things the hardest to deal with, but I’m also a big ‘this might come in useful one day’ type person because we don’t have the money to re-buy things, so I’m trying to get over that. Oh, and my husband also has drawers full of every cable imaginable!

    • Hannah Tasker March 24, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      I think there is something about husbands and cables! Sentimental things are so hard to part with, I found espeically things that other people have bought or made me. I felt like I should keep them because they were a gift, even if I dont use them, but I am trying to think of it as helping someone else instead now. With things like the childrens drawings and models, I find it easier if i take a photo of them holding it first as a way of holding onto the memory, has it was the memory that I wanted to keep, not the object, if that makes any sense! Good luck, I really hope it helps 🙂

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